persona ~ sea of djinn : game topic
Persona, Persona, please come here!
Master Persona, Master Persona, please come to us!
On the coast of Rub Al Khali lies a beautiful metropolis - the city of al-Bareha. Originally a simple fishing village lying on the shore of the Persian Gulf, al-Bareha became a major centre of trade during the rule of the Umayyad Caliphs, its strategic position allowing it to be an economic hub of the Islamic world. It continued to serve in such a capacity even after the decline of the Islamic Caliphates, and following a period under the mighty British Empire, became an independent city-state.
al-Bareha’s wealth and prosperity did not fade in the modern era, its economy fuelled by the massive oil industry that sought to take advantage of the city’s untapped reserves. A highly multicultural city for its region, al-Bareha is home to a numerous number of people, ranging from foreign businessmen to refugees escaping political strife in neighbouring countries. Yet no matter the person, all come to al-Bareha in order to share in the wealth that it possesses.
Recently, strange events have plagued the city and its people. The sands of the Empty Quarter are stirring, their wild storms completely enveloping al-Bareha. Communications with the outside world regularly fail. Peculiar lights can be seen in the city outskirts, only to disappear into the desert without a trace. Objects move on their own. Mysterious forces are at work within al-Bareha, and their influence affects every aspect of life in the city.
As al-Bareha continues to retreat into the sands, it falls to those capable of tapping into the collective unconscious - the chosen of the butterfly - to decide its destiny.
They are the wielders of Persona.
Right, with that out of the way, what exactly am I supposed to do?
The city of al-Bareha is an enigma, a mystery beyond human comprehension. Only those who wield Persona, the mighty power to summon demons from within the sea of one’s soul, can truly understand what lies beneath its shining skyscrapers. That is the role you will take upon in this RPG, tapping into your Personae and the abilities they provide to unravel the secrets of the city.
At least, that’s the overall goal. Everything else is up to you. Whether you’re a confused citizen looking for the truth, a government worker attempting to reduce growing resentment amongst the populace, or a businessman thinking up ways to profit from the mysteries, you will have access to the power of a Persona (or maybe you won’t!) to ensure that your dreams are a reality. With al-Bareha becoming more and more isolated from the rest of the world, its fate will be influenced by your actions.
Hang on a minute, what is this Persona thing that you’re talking about?
A Persona is the manifestation of, in the words of Carl Jung, “a kind of mask, designed on one hand to make a definite impression on others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual”. In essence, it is a supernatural phenomenon born from one’s own sense of self, and usually takes upon the image of either mythological, supernatural or historical figures. It is quite rare for one to manifest a Persona, but the unique circumstances surrounding al-Bareha have awakened this power within its citizens.
It is well within the capabilities of a Persona to utilise magic. Through both elemental powers, physical combat or other, more esoteric abilities (such as healing, mental compulsion or assisting in cartography), a Persona is able to channel their magic to fight, though it has been recorded that their presence may influence the way others perceive their wielders. These abilities are usually subject to the identity of the figures that the Persona is based on (such as Zeus having similar thunder powers to the god it mimics). They may also be immune to certain magics or abilities as well depending on their history and own powers. Yet due to their immense powers, they are a great burden on their wielders, and can only be summoned for short periods at a time. Also, if harm inflicted on a Persona is significant, the user may feel the pain of the blow.
The concept of Personae are heavily associated with Tarot Cards, with emphasis on the Major Arcana. Every Persona will be associated with one Arcanum, usually due to a Persona’s identity (which will commonly stem from mythology, history or the public domain) possessing the traits embodied by the Arcana. Humans are also assigned an Arcana based on their own personality, and if they possess the potential for a Persona, it will share the same Arcana as its wielder. In this RPG, the Fool, Judgement and the World are all restricted for players, as Persona of those Arcana are usually in possession of great power.
Persona-users are also enhanced by their powers in comparison to baseline humans. They are granted a greater resistance to the spiritual energies produced by Personae and other, more malicious entities, which include the beings known as Shadows. They are also slightly more resistant to physical damage, as their Personae will cushion some of the force involved, but not all. Their spiritual energies are also far more effective against supernatural entities than conventional firearms or melee weaponry. As such, it is difficult for a non-wielder to fight against them due to a lack of effective tools and resistance, although it is still possible for one to triumph.
In simpler terms, a Persona is a magical spirit summoned from one's mind to combat one's foes.
So how do the Major Arcana factor into this?
The Major Arcana are twenty-two cards of the Tarot Deck, all of which have been assigned allegorical or exoteric meanings. As stated prior, all humans will have an Arcanum that represents their personalities and motivations, one that is shared by their Persona. Depending on the Arcana (or more accurately, the wielder), a Persona will specialise in different roles and powers. For example, a cheery, optimistic person could likely be a member of the Sun Arcana, and would therefore possess a Persona that will use powers of fire or light (such as Horus or Apollo, who are sun gods in their respective mythologies). However, this is not completely set in stone, with some Personae breaking the mold (Heimdall and his ice powers yet part of the Sun).
The twenty-two Arcana (see above for a link to the Wikipedia page) are:
The Fool - Unavailable to players.
The High Priestess
Wheel of Fortune
The Hanged Man
Judgement - Unavailable to players.
The World - Unavailable to players.
You mentioned a Shadow, what’s a Shadow?
According to Jungian psychology, a Shadow may refer to the aspects of one’s personality that are not consciously identified to exist within oneself. It is highly instinctive and irrational, traits shared by the corporeal creatures of the same name that exist in undisclosed areas of al-Bareha. These creatures are born from the negative emotions of humanity, and are both incredibly hostile and dangerous to every human they meet, capable of devouring minds and leaving their victims in a vegetative state. All Shadows share sickly golden eyes, but otherwise their eldritch appearances differ immensely from one another.
Persona-users are immune to the effects that other humans suffer, for a Persona and a Shadow are in actuality two sides of the same coin. If one loses control of their Persona, allowing it to run wild, it will be no different from the violent beasts that the Shadows are. Be warned, if your will falters or you begin to reject parts of your self, it will be ridiculously difficult to regain control, especially if the Persona is a powerful one.
Shadows must be approached with extreme caution. Especially those that seem human.
Groups of note in al-Bareha
While the citizens of the Arabian city-state are many, with all possessing their own, distinct ambitions and motivations, there are also a number of consolidated groups that hold some influence, especially in regards to the mysterious happenings that have begun to plague al-Bareha of recent. Although not all-powerful and still subject to the law of the nation (even if certain groups disregard it), they are still heavily involved in the city, and are usually on the front lines in dealing with the supernatural.
Al-Bareha Defence Force (ABDF) - the armed forces of al-Bareha are small in number, though quite capable as proved by their participation in the Gulf War of 1990. Their presence within the city is rarely felt, but the recent establishment of a small stockade on the outskirts have shown that they are aware of the mysterious happenings. While they are passive actors compared to other groups, it would be wise to avoid garnering their ire.
Al-Bareha Police Authority (ABPA) - even in these troubled times, the police forces of the city-state are dedicated to upholding justice and the law on the streets of al-Bareha, fighting petty crooks to criminal gangs and even the odd terrorist or two. The appearance of the supernatural, however, has proved to be beyond their capabilities, and in response the police have formed a new department to handle any problems.
- Special Investigations Department - established in response to the mysterious incidents that occur throughout the city and the recent spate of Persona-assisted burglaries, the Special Investigations Department primarily focuses on combating the more supernatural aspects of crime, seeking to develop ways to prevent criminals from abusing the advantages of any Persona. Their progress in doing so has been stalled, but there are a number of Persona-users within the ranks of the department, one of which is their leader, Captain Jalil Khoshkam.
Roadkill Group - originally a London gang renowned for its rivalry with the Taiwanese Tien Tao Lien, the al-Bareha branch of the gang has prospered greatly under the leadership of Mitch “Pinkie” Michaels, matching even its England-based brother in wealth and influence. As the biggest player in organised crime in the city, the Group deals in smuggling (of both illegal groups and people), extortion and drugs, and are also rumoured to be connected in some manner to local corporations.
Kashihara Pharmaceuticals - a successful pharmaceutical company in Japan, the al-Bareha branch has made its headquarters at 12 Elizabeth Road, and own several warehouses in the general vicinity. Renowned for their reasonable prices and heavy investment into research and development, Kashihara is incredibly popular in the city-state, and have provided numerous jobs. Their main building and warehouses all have incredible security, and it is near impossible to learn of their secrets. In recent times, they have been researching Personae, and hold considerable scientific data that can only be matched (and only barely) by the government itself.
Useful and snazzy places to check out
Al-Bareha is fairly large, possessing all sorts of establishments, parks and what-not. This makes it difficult for tourists (and even natives at times) to find the best that the city offers, so a few starting points/interesting places have been listed to help out.
Velvet Room - a coffeehouse secluded away on a small, inner city street, the Velvet Room’s renowned for its atmosphere and service, and holds five out of five stars on Yelp out of twenty reviews. The majority of the business is a calm blue, from the decor to the three siblings who essentially run the café. The only exceptions are the blindfolded piano player, soprano singer and the manager, a long-nosed hunchback by the name of Igor. Though all manners of people frequent the establishment, Persona-users may wish to seek out the latter’s advice on all matters supernatural. Note: Igor will be played by a GM, so please get in contact with one of them if you want his knowledge.
Mallville - the biggest shopping complex in the Middle East. Both citizens and tourists will frequently visit “Mallville” in search of all sorts of goods and services. From toys to clothes to garden tools to burgers, basically everything can be found here.
Aleph’s Antiques - a dusty old antiques store/pawn shop/junk shop near the docks, Aleph’s Antiques also supplies a large variety of working replicas of historical weaponry. It is rumoured that the pretty boy owner possesses some “supernaturally-aligned” tools as well, but few dare ask in fear of retaliation from his possible gang connections.
The profile template
Here in Sea of Djinn, there are two separate templates for profiles, with one being your actual character, and the other (if you have one) for your Persona.
Arcana: (Which of the Major Arcana fits your character’s personality?)
Weaponry and Tools: (Please be reasonable, and keep in mind that as a member of the Commonwealth, al-Bareha possesses far stricter gun laws than in the United States.)
Skills: (What is your character good at doing?)
Name: (What is the name of the entity born from your own personality?)
Origin: (What is it based off?)
Appearance: (What does this Persona look like? Even if its origin is human, a Persona’s appearance is usually incredibly strange, even if humanoid.)
Powers and Abilities: (What can it do? Is it physically strong? Capable of elemental magics? Good at identifying things?)
The rules of the game
No godmodding in here: don’t metagame, bunny, autohit or do other ridiculous things that should be beyond your character’s capabilities.
- When posting, use IC for character posts and OOC for anything that you want to say out of character.
- Please attempt to treat your fellow players with a modicum of respect.
- Profiles must be posted in the discussion topic for approval.
- No OOC-only posts in the game topic. Please put them in the discussion topic.
- Follow all BZPower rules.
The staff of this game
Purple God (Hubert) and Purple Devil (Onarax) are the GMs. Please contact them if necessary.
Edited by Umi Tryon, Mar 29 2015 - 10:13 PM.